Donald Rumsfeld memoir, 'Known and Unknown,' will come out next January

Donald Rumsfeld will write about his career from Congress to the White House and Pentagon. The book, to be titled 'Known and Unknown,' will be released early next year, according to Donald Rumsfeld's publisher.

Cherie A. Thurlby/Defense Department/Handout/Reuters
Outgoing U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld smiles as he meets troops assigned to Al Asad Air Base during a surprise visit to Iraq December 9, 2006. Rumsfeld will write his autobiography, which will be released next year.

The title and release date of Donald Rumsfeld's memoir are now known, or, as he might say, are now known knowns.

The book is called "Known and Unknown," and it's coming in January.

Rumsfeld, 78, will write about his childhood and long political career, starting as a Republican congressman from Illinois in the 1960s and then as secretary of defense under President Gerald Ford and President George W. Bush, the publisher, Sentinel, said in a statement Monday.

Rumsfeld's book was first announced in 2008. Rumsfeld received no advance and will donate all proceeds to veterans charities.

The statement from Sentinel, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA), said Rumsfeld would include anecdotes about everyone from Elvis Presley to his close friend and ally Dick Cheney, the former vice president whose own memoir is scheduled for the spring.

Rumsfeld, a leading advocate of the war in Iraq, became increasingly controversial during his years in the Bush administration and resigned soon after the 2006 midterm elections, when Republicans lost control of Congress.

Sentinel president and publisher Adrian Zackheim called Rumsfeld's memoir "a fascinating narrative for today's readers and an unprecedented resource for tomorrow's historians."

"Like Donald Rumsfeld himself, this memoir pulls no punches," Zackheim said in a statement.

The title of Rumsfeld's book is as notable as the name of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's book, "Going Rogue," which stemmed from how pundits questioned whether she hurt Sen. John McCain's presidential bid as his running mate by "going rogue," or defying his campaign's control.

"Known and Unknown" refers to a widely quoted explanation — praised by some as philosophy, criticized by others as double-talk — Rumsfeld offered in 2002 about the lack of evidence that Iraq was supplying terrorists with weapons of mass destruction.

"Reports that say that something hasn't happened are always interesting to me, because, as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know that we know," he said. "There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we now know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we do not know we don't know."

Rumsfeld will draw upon previously unreleased and recently declassified documents, Sentinel said. Thousands of pages of documents unseen by the public will be made available on an accompanying website, it said.

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